200 Shortlist | FutureVersity
Shortlist – Improving Impact – charities with 4-25 paid staff
Who they are
FutureVersity is a youth education charity based in Tower Hamlets which runs free courses for young people across London to tackle educational inequality. Over the past 20 years the charity has supported over 160,000 young people.
What they’ve achieved
FutureVersity’s board has revolutionised the charity’s impact by establishing a clear, measurable strategy to improve social mobility for young people from disadvantaged areas.
With a new CEO and chair in place the board has brought in fresh skills and refocused its efforts on programmes proven to change beneficiaries’ lives. In 2016 this resulted in young people reporting a 42.3% increase in confidence and a 40% increase in drive – two factors which will help them overcome unemployment and poverty.
The charity has recently reviewed and streamlined what it delivers. Having agreed a strategic objective to improve social mobility for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the board has reduced the number of activities and focused on developing its Vacation Education programme.
The pilot involved 75 young people across three centres, who worked with 70 volunteers. 76% of participants completed the whole course and 94% said what they had learned would impact positively on their return to school.
The panel was impressed by how the board has supported identifying improvements in governance to create the new strategy. The focus on using data to improve and prove impact has helped set the charity apart and has brought in new funders, leading to a much improved financial position.